By H. Kent Aguillard
He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying.
To understand the miracle that occurred on what we call “Good Friday” and Resurrection Day (some call Easter) you must understand that the Cross wasn’t something that happened to Jesus, it was His purpose for coming. God is holy. “Holy” means separated from sin. Sin is offensive to God and separates us from Him. When you offend a friend or family member the offense separates you until there is reconciliation. God sent Jesus to be the recipient of the consequences of our wrongdoing (our sin) and to clear the impediment from us having the relationship with God He intends. God wants to have a perfect relationship with you.
The world today doesn’t like to hear the word “sin”. Many think that if they are good enough they will see God. How “good” is “good enough”? If being good was all we had to do then why did God send Jesus, a Savior? Sent to save us from what?
Most people do not like to be confronted with their selfishness, self-centeredness, lust, and who they really are. Hearing about “sin” reminds us of what we really are, sinners.
Sin has a consequence and the consequence is separation from God in a place He made for Satan and demons, not man. Man can choose to avoid God’s heaven by not believing and surrendering who you are and your ‘religion’ to be a follower of Jesus. Christianity is a Person we follow, not a set of rules to keep or a list of “do’s and don’ts”.
Satan knows all about Jesus, His birth, life, miracles He did, crucifixion, resurrection, and Jesus’ eventual return. Satan has been knowing Jesus before there was an earth. Satan knows more scripture than you and me and far more about Jesus than we do yet Satan is not a Christian.
There is a difference in religion and relationship. Jesus came to show us who God is and to suffer in our place so we can have the right to stand before God and have a Father – son or daughter relationship with Him. God didn’t make a list of every sin man can commit and then assign a suitable consequence or punishment to each one. Sin by its nature has a consequence, like fire. If you stick your hand in a fire the consequence is burned flesh. It is the nature of fire to burn. It is the nature of sin to kill and separate.
There are three distinct differences or unique characteristics of Christianity that differentiate it from other religions.
First, every other religion teaches that we have to earn or work our way to God.
Christianity teaches we are saved by grace through faith, not due to works. We are saved by the atonement of the Lord Christ. Ephesians 2:8-9.
Second, other religions have systems of rules to appease their god. Christianity is a relationship with the only true God.
Third, no other religion has an empty tomb. We’re the only people who follow a leader who died and came back to life. That is historical fact.
Peter said that there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. He was referring to Jesus. Jesus Himself said he was the only way to God. See John 14:6.
I cannot imagine what it was like for Jesus to sustain the burden of our sin. He never sinned so He didn’t know what being guilty felt like until it was dropped on Him all at once there in the Garden the night before He was executed. One moment He’s referring to God as “Abba”, a very intimate term similar to but not as intimate as “daddy”. A few hours later He cries “My God! My God! Why have You forsaken Me?” What happened? What changed? Why was God “Abba” then Jesus gets formal calling Him “God”? God was there, watching as Jesus died under the burden of the sins of man.
Jesus became sin on the Cross so we could know the righteousness of God. That was His mission and He fulfilled it completely. God allowed His only Son to die for us. Then Jesus rose from the dead and is coming back.
It’s your move. What now?